Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Adults

Published online: 
02 December 2009

Update on pharmacotherapies (weight-loss drugs)

A ministerial advisory committee has recommended that the consent to distribute the weight-loss drug sibutramine in New Zealand is revoked after its own review confirmed the risks outweigh the benefits of using the prescription medicine.

More information about sibutramine and its withdrawal can be found on the Medsafe website.


The Ministry of Health commissioned the development of the Guidelines in 2008 for the management of overweight and obese adults, children and young people, with a focus on Māori, Pacific and South Asian populations.

Obesity is considered a major risk factor for many chronic, debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Over the past two decades the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in New Zealand adults. Obesity is more common in Māori, Pacific and South Asian populations compared with other New Zealanders.

The Guidelines aim to provide evidence-based guidance for individual and group weight management, to be principally used in primary care and community-based initiatives. It is envisaged that the Guidelines will influence practice, reduce unnecessary variation, and provide a consistent approach across the many programmes in the private and public sector.

The Guidelines were developed by the Clinical Trials Research Unit (University of Auckland) with technical advice and guidance from the Guidelines Technical Advisory Group. Development also included key informant interviews, road testing with frontline health providers and primary health organisations, consultation with Māori and Pacific caucuses and literature reviews on best practice information for Māori and Pacific.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    02 December 2009
  • Hardcopy date of publication:
    02 December 2009
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-33987-1 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health, Clinical Trials Research Unit. 2009. Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Adults. Wellington: Ministry of Health
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:
    Third-party content. Please check the document or email the Web Manager to find out how to obtain permission to re-use content.
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